WHAT IS AN ADJECTIVE?
An adjective is a word that describes a noun (person, place, thing, or idea). Adjectives help us communicate our ideas more precisely and artistically. By knowing how to identify adjectives, we can avoid problems such as sentence fragments, excessive wordiness, and adjective/adverb mix-ups. Adjectives are far too numerous to name, but here are some examples: blue, cold, ancient, frustrating, dark, stormy, delighted, afraid, hairy, stressful, bold, normal, metallic, belated, enormous, special, sober, morose, tall, likeable, flat, noisy HOW CAN WE IDENTIFY ADJECTIVES?
Adjectives often appear immediately before the noun they modify. The large grey dog won the competition.
The verdant trees are swaying in the gentle breeze.
This darling kitty needs a nice home.
Adjectives may also appear later in the sentence, particularly after a linking verb (such as be, become, seem, appear, look, and feel).
I can’t believe my brother seems so arrogant!
The shoes I bought are gorgeous but impractical.
You look terrific!
Certain suffixes (word endings) also indicate that a word may be an adjective: able—loveable, detestable, comfortable, portable, delectable al—royal, special, dental, legal, dual
ant—expectant, extant, pleasant, relevant, pursuant
ent—decadent, excellent, intelligent, belligerent, reverent ful—beautiful, gleeful, bashful, tasteful, wasteful
ible—possible, edible, credible, sensible, defensible
ic—spastic, fantastic, terrific, caustic, acidic
ical—musical, whimsical, spherical, lyrical, nonsensical
ish—foolish, prudish, childish, devilish, garish
ive—repulsive, conducive, hyperactive, conclusive, dismissive less—hopeless, timeless, penniless, nameless, painless
ous—ridiculous, glamorous, spacious, odiferous, fabulous
ular—muscular, popular, spectacular, tubular, vehicular
y—funny, tasty, grumpy, loopy, gummy
Adjectives are sometimes created from verbs, so also look for –ed...